Certainly no easy feat, but 27-year-old New York pop singer VÉRITÉ (née Kelsey Byrne), has built a worshipful following without very much outside help at all. Indeed, between 2014 and 2016, three self-released EPs and eleven singles had made her something of a phenomenon (with more than 100 million Spotify plays), surely poised for – if you’ll pardon the hyperbole – some manner of future stardom.
But for now, the alluring, enigmatic songstress’ debut album Somewhere in Between, released in June on Kobalt, is another totally independent labor of love. Musically, she has progressed, evolved, grown up a little even: tracks like “Phase Me Out” and “When You’re Gone’ exhibit a remarkable songwriting maturity, with lush, visceral soundscapes, and exhilarating emotional dynamics. She gets profoundly philosophical: “Eventually you’ll crack / And remember there’s no need for / Siphoning some reason / From a dissipating line we drew” she viscerally intones on the former track. In the latter she laments, “Sitting in depression / Always calling me irreverent / If I prayed the weight would lessen.”
We caught up with her for a few questions just as she’s about to launch an extensive tour in Philadelphia this Wednesday, one that will take her to 23 cities between now and October 6. Her live shows are definitely a thing – don’t miss her.
Over the past three years, you’ve built up a significant following pretty much all on your own. Is there a particular satisfaction in that?
There is definitely satisfaction in knowing that I’ve built this community of people around the project without compromising. I’m ridiculously grateful for my people.
The songs on Somewhere in Between seem stark and confessional. Is writing a cathartic act for you?
Writing doesn’t tend to be cathartic for me. I get really down on myself and over analyze the process. Playing the music live is the cathartic part of the process. I get to reinterpret and actually feel the music while sharing those experiences.